The Link Between Sleep and Weight Loss


The debate about the best way to achieve a healthy weight always revolves around eating and movement. If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But it’s not that simple. Sometimes between living your life, working and exercising, you’re forgetting to sleep enough. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35% of people are sleep deprived. And when you consider that the statistic for obesity is nearly identical, it’s easy to connect the dots and discover that the connection is not a coincidence.

It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. When you don't sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centers in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, lack of sleep causes us to be short tempered, more irritable and far more likely to choose unhealthy snack options.

A recent study carried out by researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland looked at the associations between sleep, stress and success at sticking to a weight loss program. They found overwhelmingly that people who had less than six hours sleep per day were less likely to achieve weight loss than those who had between six and eight hours. The researchers also concurred that high stress levels also affected weight loss. When combined with poor sleep, stressed people were about half as likely to be successful at weight loss than their less stressed counterparts who got between six and eight hours of sleep.

Of course weight issues are not all the fault of poor sleep patterns. Your bulging waistline could equally be caused by any number of different factors including sneaky snacking, poor genetics, stress, night shifts, food addictions, sugary drinks, too much alcohol, a food intolerance or an imbalance in gut bacteria. However one thing is clear if you are getting less than 6 hours quality sleep every night then your body will not be in prime 'fat burning' mode. Try and get a good sleep routine to help you manage your weight for effectively and if you need help please arrange to come in to see me for a one to one sleep consultation



Could You Be Suffering With Adrenal Fatigue?

If you answer yes to these 6 questions then read on…

·                  Do you have difficulty getting up in the morning even after a long sleep?

·                  Do you experience high levels of fatigue each day?

·                  Do you feel you have an inability to handle stress?

·                  Do you crave sweet or salty foods?

·                  Do you have higher energy levels in the evenings?

·                  Is your immune system low meaning you catch colds and virus’ easily?

The adrenals are two small glands that sit just on top of the kidneys. They keep cortisol and adrenaline in check (two major stress hormones but essential components to our metabolism) as well as regulate inflammation in the body. An episode of acute stress or prolonged, chronic stress can cause adrenal glands to become overloaded and ineffective leaving you feeling exhausted.

If you feel you could be suffering with adrenal fatigue here are some steps to take;

  • 1. Cut out sugars– Avoid sugary foods, cereals, etc. and be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try stevia or Xylitol as an alternative.
  • 2. Add healthy fats – Coconut oil, ghee, organic olive oil, and clarified butter all greatly support adrenal health.
  • 3. Get more Sleep – Rest wherever possible and try turning off all electronics 1 hour before bed and aim for 8 solid hours sleep per night.
  • 4. Sip on Green Tea. Organic green tea has high levels of nutritive phytochemicals which support the adrenal glands. Matcha green tea is the best.
  • 5. Eliminate stress – Try yoga, tai chi or meditation to relax overly-stressed adrenal glands.
  • 6. Improve your diet – Add plenty of leafy green vegetables to your diet throughout the day and at least 40 grams of protein in the morning. Try eggs or Greek yoghurt for breakfast.
  • 7. Consume Natural Salt - Natural salts like Himalayan salt contain many trace minerals, which help to support the adrenals. .
  • 8. Limit the use of stimulants - Coffee and alcohol should be moderated when you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.
  • 9. Don’t over-train at the Gym – Excessive Cardio or endurance training is really hard on the adrenals. With adrenal fatigue try a gentler form of exercise.

It can take 6-24 months to reverse adrenal fatigue but at Body Fabulous we can write you a specific plan to support you with your diet and supplementation regime to regain your health and get that energy back again!